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Old 02-26-2008, 08:53 AM   #1
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1993 34' Excella
Portland , Maine
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3.73 Vs 4.10 & 3/4 Vs 1 ton

I recently purchased a '93, 34' Excella and have been looking for the TV.... '03 or later Dodge, Diesel, 4wd, 4dr, 6spd, long bed...probably 3/4 ton. I plan to put a cap on it and have additional fuel tank installed, need room for all the extra family stuff and Newfoundland dog. I think the tongue weight on the trailer is around 800lbs. Also will have two small kids and the wife up front.

We're based in Colorado now, and will be driving to Nevada and Maine to live and work...so a lot of longer distance type travel in the future, although we plan to seek roads other than the interstate when possilbe. I hear that mpg will drop significantly from some, and other say maybe 1 mpg with the 4.10 over the 3.73. Wouldn't the difference in mpg only be an issue when travelling at highway speeds in 6th gear? Do I even need to be thinking about this?

Since this is a big purchase, I'd like some comments on whether or not I should get a truck with the standard 3.73 or look for 4.10? And, should I be looking at a 1 ton truck?

Thanks!
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:12 AM   #2
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1989 25' Excella
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Welcome, with the diesel, the final ratio won't matter (in GM land diesels come with the 3:73).

3/4 vs 1 ton won't matter either. Payload is not really an issue with TT's, especialy AS's.

That Newfy might do it though!

Just kidding...any 3/4 ton diesel would be fine...

Good luck, Bill
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binkers
I recently purchased a '93, 34' Excella and have been looking for the TV.... '03 or later Dodge, Diesel, 4wd, 4dr, 6spd, long bed...probably 3/4 ton. I plan to put a cap on it and have additional fuel tank installed, need room for all the extra family stuff and Newfoundland dog. I think the tongue weight on the trailer is around 800lbs. Also will have two small kids and the wife up front.

We're based in Colorado now, and will be driving to Nevada and Maine to live and work...so a lot of longer distance type travel in the future, although we plan to seek roads other than the interstate when possible. I hear that mpg will drop significantly from some, and other say maybe 1 mpg with the 4.10 over the 3.73. Wouldn't the difference in mpg only be an issue when traveling at highway speeds in 6th gear? Do I even need to be thinking about this?

Since this is a big purchase, I'd like some comments on whether or not I should get a truck with the standard 3.73 or look for 4.10? And, should I be looking at a 1 ton truck?

Thanks!
Check what the tow capacities are for each axle ratio. While I can't comment on the diesel world, I can tell you that in the gas world 3.73 and 4.10 may have significant effect on how large a trailer you can tow. Something to think about if you plan on keeping that tow vehicle for many years. We picked up over 2,400 lbs. going from our '01 Safari to our '04 Classic slide out. I'm glad I ordered (at the time), the largest engine and 4.10 axle that GM provided on vans.

Again, no advice on diesel but in the gas towing world, one ton over 3/4 ton is not always an advantage. Going to one ton on my van would have actually lowered my towing capacity due to the heavier components. 3/4 ton was the sweet spot.

Jack
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:03 AM   #4
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Axels

I do not pretend to be an expert, all I know is what I have experienced, and everyone has a personal preference.
I tow a 30ft classic, 8000 lbs dry, For several years I used a Dodge 3/4 ton HEMI, 3.73 rear, 2wd, 4 door, short bed. Worked well on east coast and one trip to Missouri and back to Maryland.

I moved up to a 2007, 6.7 Dodge diesel w/3.73, still 4 door, short bed, 4wd. I am very pleased. PA and VA mountains are no challenge. Milage, between 11 mpg and 13 mpg while towing (includes back roads w/stop and go). I do like the 3.73 when not towing, 20 MPG.

For fuel and power upgrades on a unit not in warranty check the diesel fourms for performance modules and fresh air intakes.

Departing soon for west AZ, UT, WY, SD....etc. Will have a report end of June
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:16 AM   #5
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1996 28' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binkers
.... '03 or later Dodge, Diesel, 4wd, 4dr, 6spd, long bed...probably 3/4 ton. I plan to put a cap on it and have additional fuel tank installed, need room for all the extra family stuff and Newfoundland dog.
When I purchased our '05 3/4 ton quad cab 4wd short bed, the rude surprise was a warning sheet in the paperwork saying to never install a truck camper. With the 4wd, the height makes it too tippy on curves. If you ever think you might want a truck camper, a 2wd with limited slip might be a better choice. Of course, there are lots of other reasons to go with 4wd, and I personally would not give it up.
Good luck in your search.
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:25 PM   #6
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binkers
I recently purchased a '93, 34' Excella and have been looking for the TV.... '03 or later Dodge, Diesel, 4wd, 4dr, 6spd, long bed...probably 3/4 ton. I plan to put a cap on it and have additional fuel tank installed, need room for all the extra family stuff and Newfoundland dog. I think the tongue weight on the trailer is around 800lbs. Also will have two small kids and the wife up front.

We're based in Colorado now, and will be driving to Nevada and Maine to live and work...so a lot of longer distance type travel in the future, although we plan to seek roads other than the interstate when possilbe. I hear that mpg will drop significantly from some, and other say maybe 1 mpg with the 4.10 over the 3.73. Wouldn't the difference in mpg only be an issue when travelling at highway speeds in 6th gear? Do I even need to be thinking about this?

Since this is a big purchase, I'd like some comments on whether or not I should get a truck with the standard 3.73 or look for 4.10? And, should I be looking at a 1 ton truck?

Thanks!
Another disclaimer that I am no expert, but here are my thoughts:

If you are considering a Dodge, I would recommend the Ram 3500 (1ton) Mega Cab with the 5.9L CTD. Colorado? Lots of long distance travel? If there is anyone who is a perfect fit for a diesel, it's you. You have a 34 AS, kids, huge dog, wife, family things, and you are planning on an auxillary fuel tank. That all needs space and carrying capacity. The smaller 4 door Dodge Ram, the Quad Cab, has a small back seat, the Mega Cab has a huge back seat. The Mega only comes in a short bed, and the 2500 3/4 ton version has a low carrying capacity, so the 3500 is your best bet and only a few dollars more, if that. I would also suggest looking carefully at rear dual wheels considering the travel and the fact you have your home and family with you...safety, safety, safety.

The link below will get you to one of the best Dodge Forums for more details, not to say that Airforums isn't great, there is just a lot more about Dodge trucks to be had over there. Remeber though, they are all Dodge enthusiasts, so they are going to be bias, look for real world experience info.

Good luck on your travels.

time

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Old 02-29-2008, 10:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binkers
I recently purchased a '93, 34' Excella and have been looking for the TV.... '03 or later Dodge, Diesel, 4wd, 4dr, 6spd, long bed...probably 3/4 ton. I plan to put a cap on it and have additional fuel tank installed, need room for all the extra family stuff and Newfoundland dog. I think the tongue weight on the trailer is around 800lbs. Also will have two small kids and the wife up front.

We're based in Colorado now, and will be driving to Nevada and Maine to live and work...so a lot of longer distance type travel in the future, although we plan to seek roads other than the interstate when possilbe. I hear that mpg will drop significantly from some, and other say maybe 1 mpg with the 4.10 over the 3.73. Wouldn't the difference in mpg only be an issue when travelling at highway speeds in 6th gear? Do I even need to be thinking about this?

Since this is a big purchase, I'd like some comments on whether or not I should get a truck with the standard 3.73 or look for 4.10? And, should I be looking at a 1 ton truck?

Thanks!
As others have stated, the choice of the final drive ratio will be determined by the manufacturer based on engine capacity and/or transmission. For example, on my 6.4L 2008 diesel I got a choice of a 3.73 or a 3.73; that is, no choice at all due to my preference for a manual gear box.

I am a firm believer in getting the four wheel drive. If not for the 4X4 option we would still be in a campground in Georgia; our space had a slight incline but lots of loose earth. As a result, the real wheels just spun when we tried to pull up the incline with our 9000 pound Classic when we were on our way out. Once in four wheel drive we rolled right up the slight incline. Frankly, I was amazed at how this loose ground caused such a problem.

As for one posters comments about campers in four wheel drives. My four wheel drive truck was ordered with the handling package that provides certification for a camper to be used with the vehicle. I don't know when this certification process started (my old 70 GMC certainly had no such thing), but this package gave me the ability to carry 2,200 pounds in an F250; no more than 1,000 pounds for a camper.

As for thinking that you will not want to carry much weight I highly recommend that you rethink this. I have a topper on my truck. After two months of crawling in and out getting to things we installed a bed slide; one of the best things we ever did. Now we can get to whatever we need easily. At the front of the slide we have installed a 2X3X4 foot shelf unit in order to maximize our storage capacity. The slide adds weight and you will be amazed at how much stuff you cannot store in you Airstream.

So, yes for the 4X4, yes for being able to haul 2000+ plus (remember that you and your passengers count toward GVW). And, I have a manual gear box and would not be without it. I have had unfortunate experience with automatic gear boxes when hauling lots of weight; it is very easy to create problems that are expensive to fix. Comparatively speaking, a clutch is a very cheap fix. The 3.73 works well with this setup. We tend to get anything from 9.4 to 13.5 mpg with the wind being the factor that influences mileage the most, in our experience.

My usual caveat, YMMV.

Jim
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